An Exploratory Study on the Consumers Use of Medicine in the State of Sarawak, Malaysia

    Published on:August 2016
    Journal of Young Pharmacists, 2016; 8(4):477-482
    Original Article | doi:10.5530/jyp.2016.4.26

    Chuo Yew Ting1*, Kah Seng Lee2*, Robin Tiow-Heng Tan3, Wei Chern Ang2, Long Chiau Ming4,5

    1Pharmaceutical Services Division, Sarawak State Health Department, MALAYSIA.

    2Pharmaceutical Services Division, Ministry of Health, MALAYSIA.

    3Pharmaceutical Services Division, Malacca State Health Department, MALAYSIA.

    4Vector-borne Diseases Research Group (VERDI), Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences CoRe, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam, Selangor, MALAYSIA.

    5Faculty of Pharmacy,Universiti Teknologi MARA, Puncak Alam, Selangor, MALAYSIA.


    Introduction: The quality of a healthcare service relies on the rational use and the tight regulation of evidence-based medicine. By understanding how consumers take their medicines, policy makers were able to make appropriate intervention that caters for the practices and beliefs of the community. This cross-sectional survey study aimed to investigate the knowledge, awareness and behaviour of medicines usage by consumers in Sarawak. Method: A self-administered, paper-based validated questionnaire was distributed to the general public from 1st September to 31st October 2013. A proportionate cluster sampling was conducted, followed by stratified sampling to ensure similar sample size between urban and rural areas. Chi-square test was used to identify any statistically significant differences between urban and rural participants with their preference. Results and Discussion: A total of 442 respondents were recruited where more respondents from rural area (253, 57.2%) were recruited. More than half of the respondents from both urban and rural groups respectively took some forms of medicines (urban: 111, 58.7%; rural: 156; 65.6%), mostly on health supplements (urban: 48, 25.4%; rural: 61, 24.1%). In terms of the place to obtain their medicines, the Sarawak consumers preferred local government hospital or clinic with 128 (67.7%) among urban group and 221 (87.4%) among rural groups. Only half of the respondents in urban group (50.3%) were aware of “Know Your Medicine” campaign and 63.6% in rural group (p<0.05). Conclusion: The knowledge of respondents towards the correct use of medicines was still considered unsatisfactory.

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